In the 40 year history of the Portland Timbers there have been two constants: the unwavering support in the stands and the enemy to the North. Even in the Timbers' short history in Major League Soccer, the rivalry between the Timbers and the Seattle Sounders has been something special.
Now, with the Timbers set to host the Sounders this afternoon at Providence Park in the wake of what may have been the most contentious meeting between the two teams in their history, a new chapter in the rivalry is set to unfold before us.
However, there are still several hours to go before a ball is kicked, so let's take a moment and remember one of the highlights of the time since the Timbers joined MLS.
The first leg of the Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders match up in the 2013 Western Conference Playoffs came in Seattle and it was quite the occasion. The Sounders had fallen just short of the top spot in the Western Conference, a spot held by the Timbers, and were looking to prove that they were the better side on the year. With the Emerald City Supporters proclaiming "Welcome to Your Nightmare", it was the Timbers who would come out on top, grabbing a two goal lead through Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe before conceding once for the first leg of the series to end at 2-1.
With the Sounders trailing by a goal coming into the second leg, the Timbers Army were careful to avoid the mistake of their counterparts to the north, going with a positive "This Magic is Real" tifo -- calling back to their 2009 "Your Magic is Real" tifo -- to inspire the Timbers. Clearly, the tactic worked as the Timbers sprang out to a 3-0 lead on the night with goals from Will Johnson, Diego Valeri, and Futty Danso, before starting to coast and allowing a pair of goals from the Sounders as the series ended 5-3. With the game firmly in the bag, the Timbers Army, of course, debuted a new chant for the Sounders.
This game is going to be intense and excellent. Time for more memories to be made.